Confession: I hate spelling tests. I hated them as a student and I hate them as a teacher. When I used to give spelling tests I felt like they were a waste of time. Pass out list, pre-test, practice, give test and then forget words. It wasn't worth my precious instructional time.
The Common Core Standards is not spell words correct. The standard is: "spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions." 1st graders just need to sound spell..
So I came up with a way to test just that. Throughout the week I used Word their way, spelling boxes, flash cards. I taught grammar focus during writing mini lessons and sound spelling with phonics instruction. Then on Friday I would gather a sample of their writing.
When I graded I could not only look at their spelling, but their grammar, and handwriting. I also collected their samples for data and then gave them to parents at conferences so they could see actual improvement.
Using prompts changed spelling for me and it was an amazing choice. Less stress, more learning.
Here is my spelling prompts aligned with McGraw Hill Wonders Unit 1-6. Each week has 4 pictures and an explanation of the words.